How do movies or television influence people's behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.
The impact that modern mass media such as movies or televisions has had on our daily life, and society in general, is undeniable. No doubt it will become even greater as the scope of mass media continues to grow, and as the relevant technologies become more and more sophisticated, and so fascinating that virtually nobody will be able to escape. Already, it can be seen how western movies are exercising influence on our youth generation: they grow long-hair regardless of their sex, commonly part of which are dyed in gold; they wear jeans in each and every season, usually knees of which are deliberately tattered; boys are fond of earrings or other odd pendants; and girls are keen on Marlboros and weird coarse languages.
The major means that mass media influence the public is by creating topics of discussion in the society. Mass media offers people (the consumers) issues to talk and think about. Titanic had brought a worldwide uproar by its extolling and of fascinating immortal love; Prime Color and Wag the dog met the national debate on right and duty of the president of the United States. Antiwar movies such as Tears of the Sun and All Quiet On The Western Front among numerous others have been raising the question that is any war really to uphold justice or is it really worthy that an individual makes sacrifices to his country and at the same time ignores his own family or his personal values?
Mass media also shapes our understanding of what is important and what is not important (to know). The "important" issues are to be found on the first pages of the newspaper (/in the beginning of a television program). The "not important" stories are the ones that are not being told at all. The "not very important" stories are probably very short and hidden in the last pages. In fact censorships present all mass media including its distributing means such as the Internet. By prearranging public issue, the mass media makes decisions for us. Even though there are critical thinking individuals in any society, they are definite minority; the public in whole in deed lack skills of critical thinking, and therefore they are often led by the media.
In brief, mass media, by offering topics and affecting the ways in which we discuss “the important issues”, has a strong influence on our perception of the truth, of the world or of the structure of our society, we have to admit that it has a role in our lives as a source of information, experiences, entertainment, amusement and relaxation.[431 Words]